Announcing our Inaugural Unlock Aid Fellowship Program

The people that make up our coalition are everything. They have experience and expertise. They are passionate about advancing equity, innovation, accountability and transparency in our global systems. They have brilliant, game-changing, harm-reducing, justice-building, planet-saving ideas about reimagining the future of global development.

In this spirit of building a better, healthier and more just world alongside both emerging and longtime leaders, we are so thrilled to announce our first ever awardees of the Unlock Aid Innovation Fellowship: Shiro Wachira and Malyse Uwase.

Over the next year, Shiro and Malyse will focus on driving practices like community building and policy advocacy and contributing fresh ideas, thought leadership and energy into the Unlock Aid network and across our global development work at large. 

At Unlock Aid, we are committed to lifting diverse voices contributing to the future of our field and seeding the fields of all of our futures. Our Fellows will actively participate in advancing our policy agenda like embedding transparency and guaranteeing more local partnerships; educating media about the importance of reforms to unlock innovation for global challenges; and contributing to Unlock Aid’s policy and programmatic direction as we stay flexible and nimble in the face of an ever-changing world. The Unlock Aid Innovation Fellowship will nurture young leaders to inject new energy into achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and help us to scale solutions for the world’s most challenging problems.

Read on to learn even more about Shiro and Malyse. We could not be more excited to have them on our team.


Shiro Wachira comes to Unlock Aid after five years of working in the development sector in the United States and across East Africa. Her experience at GiveDirectly and One Acre Fund, as well as her background in community organizing and focus on food systems, agriculture and urban adaptations to climate change position her to seek equitable solutions to our planet’s most crucial problems, broaden our coalition and effectively engage public officials to build support for our work.

A graduate student at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Shiro understands how important it is to change the status quo of top-down development; to meet the consequences of climate change and empower emerging economies, we have to be flexible in how we pursue innovation and ensure that we grant funding to solutions led by issue-impacted populations. Shiro believes that we must meet this moment with urgency and seize the current window during which we can make big changes. Follow her at @averageshero

“Being part of the Unlock Aid community offers a unique opportunity to be part of a bold and hopeful conversation, at a moment where it’s easy to be consumed by cynicism.”


Malyse Uwase is a Senior Consultant at Salient Advisory, a global health consulting firm specializing in health and technology in Africa. Malyse leads research on the future of health technology in East Africa, focusing on innovations in supply chain, telemedicine, and digital counseling. Alongside committed partners, Salient Advisory recently launched its Investing in Innovation program to support African-led, health supply chain innovators, providing them with access to market support, investment readiness training, and risk-tolerant grant funding.

Malyse has a strong background in developing equitable entrepreneurship. As the Director of Health and Partnerships at Kasha – an e-commerce platform for women’s health, menstrual care, and personal care products – she led the company’s health strategy implementation across Rwanda and Kenya. Malyse’s focus on gender empowerment and women’s health, combined with her strong sense of how to scale local innovations which increase equity, will make her a great asset to Unlock Aid. Follow her at @MalyseUw

“For years now, the international community has been aware of problems that plague the aid sector, yet the needle has moved very little when it comes to change. I am excited to join an organization and community that is advocating to change this status quo and taking active steps towards making the sector effective, efficient, and more equitable.”


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